Programming has always been a second-class citizen on Twitch and has quite the fabled history. It started with people uniting under specific games when nothing other than gaming was allowed. A "Game Programming" category was eventually added as a special exception. Then Twitch launched Creative as the first non-gaming category. There was initial hype, Game Programming slowly died as a result and Programming was eventually made a sub-community of Creative (i.e. not visible in the directory). Then IRL launched, proceeding to lobotomize Creative and therefore what was left of Programming. When IRL got out of hand, Twitch broke it down in multiple categories and for a glorious 14ish days, there was a full-blown Programming category visible in the directory. It was too good to be true though and the recently launched and anemic Science & Technology (as part of the IRL break-up) needed to be saved from the embarrassment it was so they deleted Programming and told people to stream there instead. We are back to people thinking there is no programming content on Twitch.
Sad because it's a solid category with a lot of good content that no one can find. Never understood Twitch's stubbornness in not exploring it as decent vertical to develop.
Another resource worth checking out even if the formatting is a little jarring is https://github.com/bnb/awesome-developer-streams. There is a lot of overlap but it lists what people do on their channels.
Please make programmers more discoverable!
Has anyone done this? Is it easier to focus or harder?
In my personal experience, the productivity hit is overstated. It's absolutely harder to focus because of chat and the discussions that come with it, yes, but at the same time you have a camera pointed at your face and your screen is shown to the world. Whatever you normally do to distract yourself and procrastinate... I can guarantee you don't.
You also build a resistance to interruptions over time, which is an amazing skill for a programmer to have. I didn't believe it to be possible, but it eventually became so easy to pause what I was doing, interact with chat for a few minutes and instantly resume where I left off after.
To go even further, it's a great way to put in consistent work and keep motivation up for large, long-term projects. I have built the entirety of the Serpent.AI Framework (https://github.com/SerpentAI/SerpentAI) while live on my Twitch channel and I'm not sure I would have ever shipped it otherwise. The interactive nature of live streaming can give you that nice push on days you don't quite feel like it.
Streaming programming is not for everyone but I still recommend to give it a try. The experience is hard to put into words. I've had a blast and got to know great people.
The Twitch "getting started" docs are surprisingly anemic. (Do they even have a growth team? This seems like table stakes.)
For someone who hasn't ever watched Twitch, and really just wants to focus on coding in a streaming context, do you have any "start looking here" suggestions?
Start messing around in OBS (https://obsproject.com) and get as comfortable as you can using it. You can compose scenes, transition between them, set up your audio and video encoding and preview everything without streaming. You can make local recordings test things like volume levels and audio sync. It's fantastic software and it's how you will operate your stream.
For programming, things are as simple as they come: Have a main scene that does display capture and perhaps overlay a camera. You can add more bells and whistles if you want; the tools are pretty intuitive. I recommend also making scenes for "Starting Soon", "BRB" and "Stream Over". Having a browser in guest/incognito mode is a good idea. Be mindful of stuff like API keys, secrets, passwords and personal information.
Once you are ready to make the leap, you can link your Twitch account to OBS and when you press "Start Streaming" you'll be live shortly on your channel.
Before you do though, you'll want to spend a little time in your Twitch dashboard to set up stuff like titles, categories, tags etc.
There is a lot more to it that you'll figure out along the line. Live streaming is an iterative process and a skill / hobby that you perfect over time. Have fun!
Also, check out the programming streamers on belly.io! Many of us are happy to answer questions and help out new streamers. :)
Happy to see this.
That somehow would be more interesting than real time coding for myself.
Oh man me too, I've avoided live coding because of it but your post makes me think I should give some of it a watch.
As for live coding, it really is a completely different experience, and I expect something different from it. My only complaint is that it’s often difficult to find them - Twitch is very much oriented towards gaming, so finding the coders there is like finding the needle in a haystack. Hopefully Belly.io can help (can’t tell since it appears to have been hugged to death).
Yeah we're totally on the same page there. I want to read, reread, and reread (i'm bad at reading comprehension) when it comes to these youtube videos that should be blogs.
I'm a bit of a n00b and constantly looking for some good patterns or such, live coding might help but understand it a bit better than finding a monolith app as seeing it come together is often easier for me to understand.
(Sometimes I have a stressful day at work, leave earlier, plop on the couch and put a Topologos Lutecium video. Trigger alert though those are not mathematics.)
I've even streamed myself programming once in a while and I plan on doing that a lot more here in 2019. It's fun.
Streaming while programming is definitely slower, and sometimes unproductive. You repeat yourself a lot, since people come and go constantly, but the pros can sometimes make up for that; Sharing and receiving help/knowledge from your viewers is amazing. We all get stuck sometimes, and I've seen countless of times a viewer (myself included) have the answer or solution to the problem. Very polite!
The social part is definitely a big factor and you meet a huge audience of programmers of all levels worldwide.
Also I love to help, and StackOverflow can sometimes be boring and dry to look at. Watching and helping someone programming on stream is a lot more interactive.
- meeting new people, sharing ideas
- if you're lucky and have a lot of experienced people in the chat they can help you out and spot bugs, potential mistakes, etc.
- can be highly distracting and productivity-lowering
The only difference though there are more peers and sometimes it can become a brainstorming, which is cool although it depends on the streamer because some of them engage with viewers very less.
But in general, I think it's more beneficial than watching tutorial to see how we can we approach a problem rather then solving it directly.
You'd need streaming software (OBS Studio is generally recommended) as well as a good microphone and optionally camera. Of course you'll want to have a tab or two open to Twitch in order to monitor chat and your stream status.
> Is twitch.com "safe for work"?
I would err on the side of caution and say that Twitch is NSFW. Yes there's `Twitch Creative` and `IRL` and `Just Chatting`, but the site is very much centered around games. Every workplace is different though, so exercise your own judgement.
Also, it's https://twitch.tv, but it looks like they've got a redirect in place.
> I can see myself making streams like "scikit-learn from scratch" live at regular intervals.
If you want to actually build up a following, you will need to be very regular. Having a schedule is one of the most important things you can do to have any level of success.
Only problem is it sporadically fails to refresh, resulting in a white "Oh Snap!" says-nothing-helpful browser error that forces me to reload the page manually.
Topics like setting up deployment, servers, more complex server setups...
Or did someone tried to do streams on this topics?
I imagine this would be much cooler than defined tutorial videos..